Clinton's last stand

Like General Custer, Hillary Clinton appears as adept at attracting publicity to herself as she is at actually doing anything tangible; like Custer, Clinton is as likely to appear in a weird dress with a weirder hairstyle as she is to leave a legacy, like Custer, she is loud-mouthed and inconvenient and like Custer, her Last Stand is ill-prepared, reckless, and doomed.

The legacy of Hillary Rodham Clinton as Secretary of State, aka the United States of America's head of diplomacy, is, in a word, disappointing. In terms of work done, the legacy she leaves is Libya, an illegal attack against a sovereign nation in which NATO took sides in an internal conflict against international law, performed a spectacular mission creep against the terms of the UNSC Resolutions covering the conflict and used military equipment against civilian structures, against the Geneva Conventions.

In practical terms, Hillary Clinton leaves the State Department after four years with the same record as Condoleezza Rice, with the same foul-mouthed, insolent references to Russia, poking their noses into the internal affairs of other countries, making references to freedom and democracy as the lobbies they represent close ranks and gain footholds, in Hillary Clinton's case, in Haiti (after the earthquake), the arms lobby in Asia and fundamentally, as AFRICOM supplants the African Union and destroys Gaddafi's Africa project (for the time being anyway).

Where Hillary Clinton steps, even under fire in a war zone in Bosnia (red carpet welcome with a band), the corporate greed which dictates policy in the United States of America follows. It stabbed Africa in the back (any African doing business with AFRICOM will gain negative political points with the rising group of young African patriots coming up through the ranks) and now manifests itself in Gaza, Hillary's last stand.

Now, how can any serious diplomat, or indeed, how can anyone who labels herself as intelligent, hope to gain anything by speaking to Binyamin Netanyahu, who everyone knows is an over-grown errand boy and always has been, doing what he is told and not asking any questions, and the Palestine Authority, which has been as hopeless at defending Palestinians on the West Bank as Hillary Clinton has been in controlling Washington's Rottweiler, Israel.

Or is it the other way round?

And how can anyone minimally engaged in the game of diplomacy hope to achieve progress on Gaza without engaging with HAMAS, the main player in Gaza and, here it comes, the democratically elected representative of the Gazan people? So what was that about democracy? What was that about terrorism, you know, the terrorists that NATO backed in Libya while still on their own lists of proscribed movements?

So bumbling Hillary Clinton, who reached her pinnacle as First Lady beside her husband, the President, reaches her Peter's Principle as an ill-prepared, disappointing and sloppy Secretary of State. Rather than forging a new path for the United States of America, she had President Obama neutered as early on as possible and spent the next four years acting as a façade for the lobbies.

OK someone had to pay her considerable bills but sometimes it is better to do nothing at all than to try to do what you are not prepared for and leave a legacy like this. Disappointing, rude, arrogant, inconvenient, Hillary Clinton belongs to the political past of the USA, while Obama represents the future.

This is why yet again the USA will fail to achieve anything in the Middle East and will continue to do so until it engages all sides, meaning a multi-lateral approach using the Quartet and not undermining it, which means using the same set of weights and measures when approaching Israelis and Palestinians, which means engaging with all sides, not a chosen few.

It means condemning Israel for attacking schools with phosphorous bombs, it means objective and realistic news reports and not trash written on paper unfit to lie in a pile beside the toilet saying the conflict was started when HAMAS fired a rocket. And what was the context of the rocket?

Has anyone checked up on the stories of the mentally challenged Gazan man murdered inside Gaza by Israelis near the fence? Or the one about the incursion inside Gaza by an Israeli tank? Or the 13-year-old child murdered inside Gaza by Israeli security forces?

No of course they haven't. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the context of Hillary Clinton's visit and her political legacy as Secretary of State. Lightweight, ill-prepared, lazy, unfit for the job and... extremely disappointing.

Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey




Author`s name Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey